MILWAUKEE — Billy Hamilton drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the ninth inning, and the Cincinnati Reds capitalized on four Milwaukee errors for a 6-5 victory over the Brewers on Friday night.
Hamilton lined his single to right off Francisco Rodriguez (2-2), the Brewers’ closer pitching in a non-save situation. Reds counterpart Aroldis Chapman had little trouble in the bottom of the ninth with a 1-2-3 inning for his 11th save.
Hamilton’s hit spoiled a special night for Milwaukee, which unveiled its Wall of Honor before the game. Hall of Famer Hank Aaron and baseball Commissioner Bud Selig were among dignitaries at Miller Park, where Milwaukee rallied from a four-run deficit in the seventh on Carlos Gomez’s RBI double.
Jonathan Broxton (2-0) tossed a scoreless eighth for the win.
The Brewers nearly overcame a sloppy day marked by two errors starter Matt Garza. The second came after Garza fielded a bunt by Homer Bailey after calling off first baseman Mark Reynolds before his hard throw sailed wide of first and into the stands.
Garza put his hands on his hips in frustration after his second error of the game, but the trouble was just starting to brew.
Bailey later scored on Joey Votto’s single. Votto came around for a four-run lead after Jay Bruce’s double wasn’t fielded cleanly by Khris Davis, who was charged with an error.
The young left fielder atoned for the miscue with his shot in the seventh off the black Caterpillar ad affixed to the second deck above right field. Came on a night, too, when he posed for a picture with the iconic Aaron, who finished his stellar 23-year career in 1976 as a designated hitter for the Brewers in old County Stadium.
Bailey looked like he was well on his way to winning a fifth straight decision after allowing just one run and three hits through six innings. He even wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam with two outs in the fourth by getting Irving Falu to pop out.
No such luck in the seventh. After Davis’ homer, Bailey allowed two singles before Sam LeCure took over on the mound. Scooter Gennett followed with a solid RBI single to right before Jonathan Lucroy drove in another run on his 28th birthday by beating out a hard chopper to third.
The animated Gomez followed with his game-tying double. Just before the pitch, Gomez appeared as if he was talking to himself after sending two hard cuts foul deep down the left-field line.
NOTES: RHP Mat Latos will make his season debut Saturday for Cincinnati. Latos will be activated after spending the first two months of the season recovering from surgeries on his right elbow and left knee. Latos will bump Tony Cingrani (2-7) from the rotation, and manager Bryan Price said he wasn’t sure yet whether the left-hander would be demoted to Triple-A Louisville or sent to the bullpen. … Milwaukee plans to activate LHP Tom Gorzelanny before Saturday’s game. The reliever began the season on the DL following offseason shoulder surgery. … RHP Yovani Gallardo (4-4) will start Saturday for the Brewers.